November 27th, 2009
08:47 AM ET
11 years ago

Michelle Obama to receive Christmas tree for the White House

Washington (CNN) -
The Thanksgiving celebration is not yet over for many in America - but the White House is getting ready for Christmas.

First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to receive the official White House Christmas tree at 2 p.m. ET Friday.

Continuing a White House tradition, the tree will be delivered on a carriage to the North Portico and will be installed and decorated in the Blue Room later during the day.

This year's tree is 18.5 feet tall and is from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It was grown on a farm by Eric and Gloria Sundback.

They will present the Official Christmas Tree to the first lady on behalf of the National Christmas Tree Association. The Sundbacks won the association's national Christmas Tree contest, organized by the association, in August, says the NCTA's website.

Growing the Christmas tree for the White House requires a lot of work and care. "They are looking for trees that have good form and for trees that have stronger branches because they use a lot of decorations," Gloria Sundback told CNN.

For the Sundbacks, this experience is not new. They have presented the Blue Room Christmas tree to the White House three times: one for Jimmy Carter, two for Ronald Reagan. This year's tree will be the fourth.

For Michelle Obama, however, this ceremony of receiving the Official Christmas Tree is a debut and a first step in making the White House feel like home for Christmas.

The National Christmas Tree Association has supplied the White House with the Official Christmas Tree since 1966, says the NCTA's Web site.

–CNN's Dan Lothian contributed to this report.

Filed under: White House
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    I HOPE that Christmas tree looks better than that when they stand it up!!!

    Michelle, I hope you and your family enjoy the "SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY" in your NEW HOUSE!!!

    November 27, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Jimmy

    Im surprised its not called the White House Holiday Tree by now.

    November 27, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |